My kids and I LOVE the Elephant Learning online math program! I am presently homeschooling the two youngest of my 7 children, a daughter age 7 and a son age 10. With nearly 20 years of homeschooling, I have dealt with my children's various degrees of academic ease or difficulty. I have tried numerous math programs and know there is rarely a "one size fits all" curriculum.
That being said, I am very pleased with Elephant Learning. I was looking for an exciting, engaging online program that would give us a break from rote repetition. I wanted something to accommodate both my daughter's fast paced but sometimes careless work style as well as my son's slow, tedious, and moderately dyslexic approach. Elephant Learning is accomplishing that! This program has just enough animation to be entertaining without being a video game.
There are several ways the students can personalize each session with avatars, themes, and voices. Students can work at their own pace and the program adjusts accordingly. It is suggested that students use the program a few times a week. My kids look forward to using the program every day and usually work until the program automatically times out at about 20 minutes. This setting can be adjusted as desired.
I love that the program is very conceptual. I believe this enables the kids to progress further faster because once they understand the concept, the thought process can be used to solve harder problems. There is no lengthy lesson to listen to or read. A question appears in word and sentence style at the top of the screen AND is asked out loud. Students are prompted to respond in a number of ways like clicking a correct answer, moving items on a number line, or putting items into groups.
What I like the most is that each new concept is presented in a variety of ways, allowing repetition of the concept but through different learning methods. For example, students may be asked to count multiple groups of three, next choose one third of a set of items, next move items on a number line that has tic marks in sets of three, and so on. After each question and answer, the program will congratulate the student on a correct answer or allow them to try again. Then the actual math problem appears briefly in number and symbol style.
Most of the time, my children are able to work entirely by themselves, even with new concepts and no lessons. Sometimes though, they may need a little more explanation of a new concept or a reminder to use a concept they have previously learned to answer harder questions. At any time, the parent/teacher can access a student's performance and detailed information in multiple areas of the curriculum. There are also periodic emails sent highlighting the student's accomplishments.
I did contact the program designers about a small glitch and they responded personally and immediately, solving the problem. As far as learning mental math and understanding math concepts, this program can be used as a stand alone curriculum but at some point, the students will probably need extra practice writing and aligning standardized math problems with numbers and symbols. Elephant Learning has met and exceeded my expectations! It is fun for my kids and they are excelling by leaps and bounds. According to the program's "elephant age" assessment, my slow, tedious, dyslexic son has progressed nearly 3 levels in about 2 months! I highly recommend Elephant Math!
PS. To get started, go to https://elephantlearning.com and click Apply Now.
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